Saturday, January 23, 2010

Decisions, Decisions

With the rainy, cold weather I haven’t been riding as much as I would like. I have also been trying to solve the issue of Petunia not wanting to run and having no power in fifth or sixth gear. Willy D suggested that it could be an intake leak and the air/fuel mix seemed wrong. Well, I found the rubber plug used on the throttle body, from when I added the Ness Big Sucker, was cracked and leaking. So, I replaced it and while it ran better, it still lacked power in the top two gears. Had it looked at and seems the Power Commander isn’t interfacing with the ECM correctly for some reason.


So, what do I need do about it? Replace one and hope I picked the right one? Replace them both and know I got the right one? In either case it requires a trip to a dyno shop for another chunk of change. Nope, I went to three shops and talked to them about recommendations to upgrade her into a 95” full fledge hog.

First shop wanted to pop in a set of off brand pistons, bore my jugs, do, and I quote; some head work, and use a canned map that he has. Nowhere did he address the mentioned problem between the PCIII and ECM. His price was cheap by comparison to the other two.

Second one offered to use Wiseco pistons and remanufactured jugs, replace the ECM and change out the PCIII with a PC 5, port and polish the heads and dyno it. His price was just over double the first one.

Then I went to Iron Horse Corral. I discussed my issues with Nathan and ask his opinion of what I needed. Before he answered my question he questioned me about the type of riding I do and what I expected to get out of the build. A 95” kit for sure with Wiseco 10:1 forged pistons. But to make it work the heads would need to be ported, polished, reshaped, and shaved down. Just happened to have two sets already done and waiting. One set would allow for 100 HP and the other 110 HP. The 100 HP set has been diamond cut and he explained that that allows more surface area and helps with cooling. He said my S&S 510 cams wouldn’t make it jump and said putting in a set of 625s would be the preferred set up. Then he addressed the current issue by telling me to throw away the PCIII and ECM to be replaced with a ThunderMax EFI w/AutoTune .  His price, without the ThunderMax was just a few bucks higher then the second shop. Adding the Thundermax would add an additional $900.

I left with a decision to make and after three days of arguing with myself I have decided to have Iron Horse do the work.  They are also going to install the set of Bub 7 2 into1 exhaust I already ordered.  All they have to do now is be able to squeeze me in.

Oh yeah, and I have taken the pig pen off of Petunia and listed it on Craigs List.  Anyone interested in a nice hack let me know.  When I get too old to hold Petunia up I'll look into a trike conversion.   

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Did You Hear That Noise Mr. President?

It was the American people standing up to the change we don't believe in. This, sir, is change YOU HAD BETTER LISTEN TO. The good people of Massachusetts have spoken for most of America and regardless of your attempts to spin the result; it is a reflection on you, your policies, and the village people you surround yourself with.

I want to send out a heartfelt THANK YOU to every citizen of Massachusetts that took the time to vote and especially to the ones who stood up to history, political pressure, and voted for facts and not rhetoric and elected Scott Brown.

November is just around the corner and this is just the beginning. Lets hope there are more truck driving Americans that want to restore America to what our Founding Fathers envisioned when this great country was founded.

Tonight, for the first time in fourteen months, I’m proud to be an American. Thank you Massachusetts for restoring my faith in America.

Friday, January 15, 2010

You Want My Advise?

Another long week, ending with a meeting about budget cuts and how it affects my employment next year.  Can't wait to get outta there for a three day weekend.  Just reach the parking lot and press the alarm on Petunia when a fellow teacher calls out, "Hey Paul can I ask you a question?"

What the Hell, it won't kill me to be nice once in a while.  So, he starts in, " My uncle collects old Triumphs and he is coming down with a couple.  He wants to sell me one of them and I was wondering what you think about me starting to ride?"

My brain begins to churn.....nice young man, married for just over a year and a half, step-father to one, father to a very young baby, riding in the streets of Phoenix, West Valley traffic to be specific where the red of a stop sign is like waving a red towel in front of a bull, and he asks what I think.

"DON'T DO IT," I told him without even a second thought, "nope don't even think about it without contacting MSF and taking a rider training course."  I sometimes surprise myself when I think that quickly.

We discussed it for a few minutes, I gave him what information I had off the top of my head, and he said, "That is what I had been thinking, but wanted your opinion.  Thanks."

With words like that I'm really glad that I steered him in the right direction and I hope he buys that Triumph and rides many miles with the grin I'm sure he will have.  I'll talk to him more on Tuesday to be sure he takes a rider training course.  It is a jungle out there on the streets and I would feel really bad if something happened to him and I had told him he didn't need the training.  Yep, sometimes it pays to be nice.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Mid January Already?

Wow! It is already the 13th and this year is just bounding by. I have ridden nearly every day this year so far, but that comes to an end today. Not a serious reason, just a reason. I guess I need to back up.



I reattached the pig pen to Petunia back on December 20th. It took the best part of two days to get her aligned just right. I loosened up every adjustment point on the mounting brackets and cut blocks of wood to hold both the hack and Petunia where they should be. Checking the alignment with every tightened bolt was time consuming and worthwhile in the end. When it came time to remove the blocks the ones on the hack just pulled right out, the outside one on Petunia came out with a touch of effort, and the inside one required the use of a BFH. That would be a big f’ing hammer in technical terms. Took her out for a spin and she drove great. I was surprised just how well she drove.


A couple of weeks ago we were going to ride north, looking for that cold, white stuff that has many sitting next to a fire instead of riding. Left out in 36 degrees and by the time we got to Wickenburg it was down into the high 20’s. Petunia wasn’t running very well, Linda was a popsicle, and I was shivering, so we stopped for breakfast to warm up and then headed home.


The issue with Petunia was she would run 80 in fourth gear, but not over 65 in fifth, and even slower in sixth. Plus the gas gauge was dropping like it had an anchor. After eating we filled up and headed back to town. It was warmer and Petunia started running better. After forty or so miles of hills she came to life and would run 80 in sixth gear. I noticed when she began to run that the oil temperature was up to 180. So, I have a question to the mechanics out there; is it possible that the cold temperature and running an oil cooler won’t allow the motor to reach operating temperatures? And if it can, would that explain why she wouldn’t run. I have since blocked off the oil cooler, but haven’t taken her out to see if it made a difference.


That leads to not riding today. Terrible Terry the Texting Idiot didn’t notice the lane restriction until he was about to run into the barricades. Instead of stopping he accelerated and cut over, not really in front of me, more like next to me, and I had to test the stopping ability of Petunia for the first time with the pig pen attached. She flunked the test. No, I didn’t hit TTTI, she stopped, but the brake on the hack locked up. Tight. With some effort I got her out of traffic and unhooking the brake line allowed me to get it to loosen enough to ride the ¾ mile left to get home. I’ll be taking it apart tonight to try and find out what happened.


A year ago getting a hack seemed like a good idea to me. Today not so much and I’m beginning to believe that this is an exercise in futility that is about to come to an end. I’m thinking….if I sold the pig pen and had a 95” upgrade to Petunia wouldn’t that be better than a new bike? At least there wouldn’t be any payments.

Friday, January 8, 2010

My 1st New Years Post Ain't About Riding.

I have a ride report that I just can't get to.  It has been a loonnngggg week and I'm tired.  2010 has just started and my ass is dragging, but I have started looking into summer riding plans because Linda needs to ask for the days off.  I feel bad about not posting yet this year, so because it is almost beer thirty I will leave you with this little gem and I hope everyone's New Year is off to a good start.


Harold is 95 and lives in a Senior Citizen Home.  Every night after dinner Harold goes to a secluded garden behind the Center to sit and ponder his accomplishments and long life.  One evening, Mildred, age 87, wanders into the garden. They begin to chat and before they know it, several hours have passed.  After a short lull in their conversation, Harold turns to Mildred and asks,

"Do you know what I miss most of all?"

She asks, "What?"

"Sex!!" he replies

Mildred exclaims, "Why you old fart. You couldn't get it up if I held a gun to your head!"

"I know," Harold says, "but it would be nice if a woman could just hold it for a while."

"Well, I can oblige," says Mildred, who unzips his trousers, removes his manhood and proceeds to hold it. Afterward, they agree to meet secretly  Each night in the garden where they would sit and talk and Mildred would hold Harold's manhood.  Then one night Harold didn't show up at their usual meeting place.  Alarmed, Mildred decided to find Harold and make sure he was O.K.  She walked around the Senior Citizen Home where she found him sitting by the pool with Ethel, another female resident, who was holding Harold's manhood!  Furious, Mildred yelled, "You two-timing son of a bitch! What does Ethel have that I don't have?'

Old Harold smiled happily and replied, "Parkinson's."